In his letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, informing about the decision to return the recommendation of Justice Joseph and elevate senior advocate Indu Malhotra to the Supreme Court, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said "there is no representation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in the Supreme Court since long."
As per the Constitution, there is no provision of reservation in higher judiciary - the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts.
In Parliamentary replies, successive governments have maintained that they had been urging the Supreme Court collegium to give due representation to SCs, STs, minorities and women in judiciary.
Justice KG Balakrishnan had been the only Chief Justice of India from the SC community in the recent past.
Noting that the parent high court of Justice Joseph, the Kerala High Court, has adequate representation in the Supreme Court and other high courts, the Law Minister said high courts of Calcutta, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Manipur and Meghalaya have no representation in the top court.
Despite being a smaller court, the Kerala High Court has Justice Kurian Joseph in the Supreme Court and justices TB Radhakrishnan and Antony Dominic heading the High Courts of Chhattisgarh and Kerala respectively. Besides the three, Justice Joseph heads the Uttarakhand High Court.
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